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When anyone mentions TV chefs there are certain faces that come to mind. Ramsay. Jamie. Greg and John. Nigella. Delia. Heston. James from Saturday Kitchen. Hugh from the River Cottage…

They and others are the exalted ones, bringing their apparently godlike knowledge of food to the screen along with gleaming pans and Hollywood smiles. Detail, presentation, location and ambience - they’ve got it nailed. From Jamie Oliver’s easy-going, enthusiastic Essex twang through Nigella’s seductive, posh suggestions to Gordon Ramsay’s potty-mouthed in-your-face ravings, there’s a TV chef we each identify with and secretly aspire to.

Food shows and their hosts abound, and they’ve built up huge audiences of adoring fans. TV chefs take us to exotic countries, sample previously unknown herbs and spices, cook up banquets on a tiny stove and regale other TV celebrities for their crappy culinary performance – all the while showcasing their own ‘simple yet stunning’ talents.

At least, that’s what we’re led to believe.

But nobody’s perfect, and while the odd mistake, gaff or blooper might end up on the cutting room floor, modern digital recording means all those extra snippets never truly get binned. If we’re patient enough, they eventually reappear, in the archive of life we know as... YouTube.

YouTube is a fascinating archive of the whole spectrum of life, from the best to the worst and the way-out-wacky. But it’s a peerless source of TV-related bloopers, so we went investigating on your behalf.

Here’s what we found...

Jamie’s Nuggets

Jamie Oliver is a natural TV presenter and all-round nice guy, but even he sticks his neck out a little too far on occasion. ‘This experiment works every single time’, he says confidently of his attempt to dissuade a bunch of American kids from eating chicken nuggets, which he’s prepared in front of them using a deliberately disgusting pink concoction of connective tissue and powdered flavouring. Watch his face collapse into disbelief as the kids gobble them up. He’s got a point though. You can watch the four-minute let-down

James and the ‘D’ Word

James Martin is the hunky, genial host of Saturday Kitchen who banters with the best and rarely falters. But YouTube strikes again, with this thirty second clip of James ‘slipping the Freud’ and going all bug-eyed as he realises what he’s let loose on live television.

Ramsay’s Vegetarian Surprise

Shamefully, we couldn’t come up with a proper Gordon blooper. It seems he actually knows his stuff, despite being slapped, insulted and generally shouted at as well as cried upon for his harsh-but-gentle method that gets old kitchens firing up and tired chefs reinvigorated. Gordon, it seems, knows it all. Except for April Fool's

The Underlings

It’s only fair to mention the teams who make the great who they are. Here's a smart three-minute clip of now brilliantly successful chefs in their own right, describing some excruciating moments from their past working under famous names.

Only in America

But let’s not forget that TV chefs inhabit lands other than our own. Across the pond in the USA, for example, a long-running and hugely popular cable channel called The Food Network features the glamorous female chef and author, Sandra Lee. Below is a short clip of her ‘freeform’ all-American meatloaf. ‘It is a beeeaudiful thang’, she declares, as seconds later she presents us with - well, how about you try to describe it. At least she washed her hands…

Despite appearing to be titans of the kitchen who never screw up, TV chefs are in fact less than perfect. We’ve only given you a small sample here; if you dare to venture into YouTube you’ll find a lot more. What you’ll find is what we already have: They’re a bit like the rest of us, really. Bless ‘em.

Next time you burn your toast, scrape off the carbon and grin. Because sure as eggs, one of those Kitchen Immortals has done it too. Probably more than you.

PS – If you fancy yourself as a TV Chef, here's a clip how not to audition.


Lockhart Catering on 29 May 2014 3:47 AM

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